Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: Bracing for Trump’s Anti-Worker, Corporate Agenda
Colin Jenkins, Social Justice, January 10, 2017
This post is part of a series on the possible impacts of Trump’s election on a variety of social justice issues.
Rich people don’t have to have a life-and-death relationship with the truth and its questions; they can ignore the truth and still thrive materially. I am not surprised many of them understand literature only as an ornament. Life is an ornament to them, relationships are ornaments, their ‘work’ is but a flimsy, pretty ornament meant to momentarily thrill and capture attention.
In a February speech on his campaign trail, then-candidate Donald Trump lambasted his opponents for their cozy relationships with Wall Street bankers. “I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over [Cruz],” Trump said. “Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.” Trump’s campaigns for both the Republican candidacy and the US Presidency were heavily themed on this inside-out approach to posing as a whistleblower of the elite, a billionaire businessman gone rogue, eager to feed other members of his exclusive club to the lions. Americans by the tens of millions—ravaged by decades of predatory loan schemes, joblessness, and unfathomable debt—gathered in the den, fevered by this angst-ridden anti-establishment message, thirsting for the flesh he was to heave from the castle on the hill.
Nine months later, Trump was elected to the office of President of the United States. Taking a page from George W. Bush, Trump successfully packaged his billionaire, elitist self into an average dude sitting on the bar stool across from us. Taking a page from Ronald Reagan, Trump successfully molded the chronic economic woes of the American working class into avenues for racial and xenophobic hatred. Trump’s infamous wall is the modern-day version of Reagan’s mythological “welfare queen”—both masterful mind tricks designed to avert the attention of the understandably ravenous working-class lions away from the ringmasters and toward others in the den. The oldest trick in the book: divide and conquer. The end result: a billionaire businessman buoyed to the highest office of the land by 63 million working-class voters during a time of unprecedented poverty and wealth inequality.